Message from Japanese Hibakusha to those who take part in the

Asia Regional Conference of the 2006 World Peace Forum

June 25, 2006


Iwasa Mikiso

Japan Confederation of A-& H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations

(Nihon Hidankyo)



We are the survivors of atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. fighter jets on August 6 on Hiroshima and on 9 on Nagasaki in 1945.  We welcome the World Peace Forum being held this year.  Coming here and taking part in this conference as one of the peoples of Asian countries, we would like to discuss with you how to create a peaceful world without nuclear weapons or wars.


When we talk about the A-bombings and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must think of the reckless war of aggression Japan started against Asian countries.  For many years we have demanded that the Japanese government take responsibility for the enormous damage it caused to Asian people as well as to its own citizens.  It is regrettable that our effort to achieve the government¡¦s sincere apology and compensation has not borne fruit yet.


We are aware that many citizens of Asian countries that suffered serious damages by Japan¡¦s war of aggression appreciate the A-bombings by the U.S. for liberating their nations from Japanese invasion.  However, we cannot support their opinion.  Japanese military strength and production by August 1945 had been destroyed to almost nothing.  It was obvious that Japan would surrender anytime soon.  Many U.S. scholars share the view that the U.S. government forcibly conducted its military strategy to drop the A-bombs on Japan in order to have an advantageous position in the post-war politics internationally and domestically.  Atomic bomb is the weapon of annihilation. The inhumane brutality brought by such weapon is unimaginable and incomparable with all other ways of killing and destruction, both qualitatively and quantitatively.


The two A-bombs dropped by the U.S. turned the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki into rubbles and threw the residents in fires of hell.  By the end of 1945, they killed more than 200,000 people.  Most of them were unarmed children, elderly people, and women. The way they were killed was too grisly to describe in any of the pictures so far.  The A-bombs continue to give indelible suffering from the aftereffects and the fear of death to the survivors twice in number of those who perished.


Standing and speaking from the stage, I may look like a healthy person to you.  I was exposed to the A-bomb at 1.2km from the hypocenter when I was 16 years old.  Unable to rescue my mother from a collapsed house, I ran, leaving her burnt to death under the debris.  My 12-year-old sister was off to work as a mobilized student worker on that day. She is still missing.  To date, I have not been able to find where she died.  I became an A-Bomb orphan and one month after the bombing, I suffered from an acute radiation sickness.  Though I miraculously escaped death, I have experienced various health disorders.  Recently, while struggling with cancer caused by the delayed effect of radiation and I continue to take part in the Hibakusha movement.  My story is only a part of tens of thousands of Hibakusha¡¦s experiences.  Many Hibakusha, while having much more disastrous damages than me, are struggling to live in suffering, insisting that nobody else should have the same cruel experiences as we have gone through.


Dropping of the atomic bomb was the worst act of crime in the history of mankind.  We are the living witnesses of the crime.  However, we have never called for ¡§retaliation.¡¨  The A-Bomb damage has been too destructive to call for retaliation.  Instead we have been calling, ¡§Never repeat our suffering¡¨, ¡§Don¡¦t create another Hibakusha,¡¨ telling people about our A-bombed experiences in order to eliminate nuclear weapons from the earth.


Although the horror of nuclear weapons has been talked about over and over, it is regrettable to say that the truth of the disaster has not been fully understood.  In all stages from uranium mining to its development, production, testing, and use, nuclear weapons create many victims in many countries and regions of the world and give them tremendous pains.  Not only the Hibakusha in Japan but also the people of the Marshall Islands, where the U.S. conducted hydrogen bomb tests, the people in Polynesian islands, used as a site for French nuclear tests, and those in other Asian countries have been victimized by nuclear weapons development.  They clearly prove that as long as nuclear weapons exist in this world, humankind will never be liberated from its damages and fear.  We must eliminate nuclear weapons from this earth as soon as possible.


Today, the human race is exposed to abnormal nuclear threat to be wiped out in a minute.  Since the Bush Administration announced the strategy to develop mini-nukes (so-called ¡§usable nuclear weapons¡¨) in its ¡§Nuclear Posture Review¡¨ in the beginning of 2002, the world has faced the most serious crisis.  Nuclear weapons are not only ¡§weapons of mass destruction¡¨ but ¡§weapons of annihilation.¡¨  They cannot be ¡§usable weapons.¡¨  No matter how small a weapon is, once it is used, nuclear exchange will escalate without limit and will no doubt lead human race to total destruction.

In the face of the threat of extinction of human race, everything would become meaningless -- economic prosperity, establishment of human rights, democracy or abolition of all forms of discrimination.

It must be pointed out that the successive Japanese governments, together with the U.S. governments, should be held responsible for creating this situation.  If the governments of the two countries had sincerely faced with the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and made efforts to help the world understand the cruel and inhumane damages that nuclear weapons can cause, abolition of nuclear weapons could have been achieved by now.  In order to abolish nuclear weapons, it is necessary to develop international opinions.  Let press the nuclear weapons states to abandon their nuclear arsenals with the power of solidarity of peace-loving people all across the world, and achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons.


Dear friends,

Please listen to the Hibakusha, who have overcome their hatred and been calling for ¡§No More Hiroshima or Nagasaki¡¨ instead of calling for ¡§retaliation.¡¨

Now is the time to inform the people of the world of the true horrors of nuclear weapons, stop war, and accelerate the current for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  If you share Hibakusha¡¦s hope, our dream of creating a nuclear-free 21st century will come true.  We are actually getting closer to this dream.

Let us secure and develop further the achievements for the elimination of nuclear weapons so far: the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in 1996, the NPT agreement of 2000, and calls by the New Agenda Coalition and the expansion of nuclear-free zones.


We must pass a world free from nuclear threat on to our children and grandchildren living in the new century.  It is the responsibility of those of us who have lived through the 20th century and experienced the suffering of nuclear weapons.


We must change the governments of nuclear weapon states as well as those trying to seek nuclear weapons as means to raise their dignity and safety.  Let us work together hand in hand.  Future is in our hands.


No more Hiroshima.

No more Nagasaki.

No more Hibakusha.

No more war!